Friends! Hey, hello, hi! Glad you made it back here so I can enchant you with my sweet sweet words. (kidding)… kinda.
So, if you know me – you would know that generally speaking- I’m too busy for my own good. YUP. For sure. Which is exactly why I don’t answer half of the text messages I receive. (Btw, I am so sorry do not take that personally lol. I am just a mess.)
From the outside, I can fool people into thinking I have my life together. But the truth is, my life moves WAY too quickly. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I have this terrible habit of wanting to do it all. And by it all I mean literally everything I can possibly squeeze into 24 hours. This “I can handle it” attitude, and “extreme go-getter” spirit is the life and death of me. I like to think I’m some sort of SUPER WOMAN and can balance everything life throws at me – even when I know I have way too much going on already. Not that I’m not super… or a woman.. or woman that of which is super. However, I indeed can not fit 50 hours of activities into 24 hours without having a mental breakdown out of pure exhaustion. Unfortunately for me, that is my life pretty much every single day.
You see, this “busy” quality can be a good thing sometimes. At work, I know I can be counted on. In my personal life, my friends and family know I have their back when they need help. There is just something internally satisfying and honorable about feeling like people can rely on me.
That is… until I exhaust myself and end up drowning in Saturday’s problems when it’s only a Monday.
Here’s the thing though, friends: Self LOVE and self ISH are two completely different things and I’m almost pissed I’m only just now figuring this out. With that said, I’m learning that life is NOT meant to be lived playing “catch-up”.
If you find yourself to be like me – the go getter- the super man or woman- here are some things I’m doing to help slow down my life. I’m not sure if they will apply to you or not but it seems to be working for me so far.
First and most importantly —->
Saying “No” To Things:
This one is the toughest for me. If i’m being honest, I am still not very good at it. Like I said before- I like to prize myself as the “girl who can do it all”. I like to think I can take on every single task, show up at all the social gatherings, annnnnd wrestle a shark and write a new scientific theory all in the same few days. Okay, that might be an over exaggeration. But, you get the point.
I think I do this because I think I have to prove myself. A part of me feels like I am letting people down if I don’t take that one extra work shift or show up at that event. You know what? I probably am letting people down.
But what I’m learning is to accept that I am going to disappoint people sometimes and I will let someone down – and that is okay (I think ). My life isn’t meant to be lived trying to people please and make sure THEY know I’m great. As long as I know I’m doing my best within my own limits that’s what really matters. It’s not worth sacrificing my own internal peace to make sure others feel peace about me. My time is just important as theirs and vice versa. Not to mention, people aren’t thinking about me as much as I THINK they’re thinking about me anyways. Most of the time, we’re all thinking of ourselves. Jah feel?
So, what’s my favorite word I’m learning? “No”. No, I can’t come to that party. No, I can’t babysit that day. No, I can’t take that extra shift. Nah I don’t feel like going out. I’m sorry, but I actually can’t do you that favor today.
It’s funny because what I mistook for selfish for a long time is actually self-love.
Trust me – there’s a difference.
Reading Books That Help:
Oh lord don’t even get me started on this. Okay, okay you twisted my arm, I’ll get started anyways.
Little known fact: I am a terrible reader. Not in the sense that I don’t have the skills to do so. It’s straight up just not having the patience to because I know I could be doing something else. In theory, I like to read for the information. In reality, I would rather be doing literally anything else. So, for me, reading a book right now serves two purposes. 1. It forces me to slow down and RELAX. 2. I’m reading a book that actually tailors exactly to my situation.
For anyone interested, the book is called Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver
Another one I would suggest is – Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequiest
Both of these books give me insight to help me focus on my inward qualities and give me tools to change them.
Practicing The Pause:
Most days, I have to plan out to the minute. “Okay, if I finish this project at 10:00am, I have 15 minutes to finish my paper so I can drive 10 minutes home, squeeze in a 30 minute nap, eat lunch and make it to class by 12:00pm, make it out by 2:00pm, work on homework for 2 hours, so I can workout at 4:00pm, and …. etc etc etc.” On really intense days, I’ll even have to plan time to plan time for the next day.
Not kidding. Not an over exaggeration. That is my regular internal dialogue.
Let me tell you — I’m tired A.F all the time. It’s not a life I can keep up with right now.
SO. Instead of rushing around all the time and worrying about the future- I’m trying to pause and take moments to notice little things. From smelling the flowers to feeling the sun on my face – it makes a difference. Just the other day I decided to close my laptop while sitting outside of @southerngroundsco when I overheard a conversation about the Higgs Boson (super science). My inner nerd got way too excited and chimed in to the conversation because I was like I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. SCIENCE AHHH. When I turned around it was 3 folks in their mid sixties chattin’ it up. Long story short, they loved that I was excited about it and invited me and my roommate to their book club where they were discussing it! Guess what, we freakin went! My point is, that only happened because I took the time to relax and notice what was going on around me.
The art of practicing the pause. The “shhhhhh” world quiet down. It’s special and it’s something we all need to do more often.
It will be okay. You will figure it out. Enjoy right now.
We live in a world that preaches hustle on a daily basis. And I 120% fall victim if you haven’t figured that out by now. Lolz. In fact, I have the itch to hustle so badly that I sometimes actually get mad at myself when I rest. My thoughts will scream at me “YOU’RE NOT A SUCCESS YET WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING.” That’s how I feel. Ridiculous, I know. Welp!
Other than some super awesome couple’s mattress commercials, we don’t really hear about rest too often considering how fast paced of a world it is. I’m not saying working your ass off is a bad thing. It’s gotten me this far and I am very proud of that. However, I am saying I need to learn how to rest. Not quit.
In my case, I’m choosing to treat myself with a little more love. Giving myself all the love I’ve deserved for a long time. I’ll buy myself flowers. I’ll cook myself a nice dinner. I’ll speak to myself the way I speak to a friend. I’ll sit down and enjoy my favorite show or watch a movie or read a book despite my itch to constantly grind. Or maybe something as simple as taking that extra 10 minutes to stretch really well during my workout.
We need rest because it’s in the calm where we find ourselves. It’s where we process our day. It’s the quiet space where we can form our own opinions and let our bodies heal.
If we never take that time, we may even lose ourselves in the process.
I’m better for it. You’re better for it. It’s a win- win.
I don’t want to miss all the scenery in my life by going so fast that forget where I was even going. Truly, I do not.
Slowing down my life is something I am doing for my own personal health and growth. I’m choosing to love myself over loving the idea of other people loving me. I’m choosing to say “no” to the confetti and saying “yes” to the experience.
So hey, YOU. If you choose not carry 10 things at once – that doesn’t you don’t have the ability to do so. Nah brah. You know your strengths. Instead, you’re holding fewer things to give yourself a little room to wiggle and dance. Besides, we’re not going to lose what’s meant to be ours. Giving our lives space will either give us room to grow or a place to go.
— TheSingleWoman (@TheSingleWoman) March 18, 2017
A little wiser. A little slower. One day at a time.